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GPS device could keep costume clad kids safe

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Thousands of Utah kids will go from door to door with candy buckets in tow tonight, and a GPS may keep them safe.
SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Thousands of Utah kids will go from door to door with candy buckets in tow tonight, and a GPS may keep them safe.

Halloween is a whimsical combo of costumes and candy.

"I like getting the candy," 6-year-old Jayden said.

She loves the holiday, but before she goes trick or treating her mom is taking precautions.

"It helps me feel safe and it reminds me of when I'm at home," Jayden said.  She referred to the Amber Alert GPS her mom clipped onto the belt of her Halloween costume.

Julia Howard, the vice president of operations for Amber Alert GPS, told ABC4 Utah the pocket size device can track a child's location.  It also connects children who may be too young for a cell phone with their parents.

"They can talk to mom or dad anytime they need to," she said.

Howard demonstrated how by pushing a button on the device, children can call their parents.  Meanwhile, a phone number assigned to the GPS allows parents to reach their kids. 

The GPS also links with the state sex offender registry. As parents select the predator alert option on the GPS's mobile app or online,the screen lights up with dozens of blue icons.

"This is where sex offenders live in your neighborhood or wherever your child is at any time," Howard said.

According to Russ Thornton, time matters.  "I founded the company after losing my 3-year-old son," he said.

After a frantic 40 minute search, Thornton found his son.  However, the panic that set in never left so he vowed to keep eyes on what matters most.

"We use GPS for our cars, we use GPS to track important assets," he said.  "There's nothing more important than the safety of your kids."

Thousands share Thornton's sentiment.  The Utah based company and the Amber Alert GPS device have been featured in newspapers, magazines, and on television shows across the country.  AT&T recently picked up the product with a plan to sell it in more than a thousand stores by 2014.

The device costs almost two hundred dollars with a year long contract that provides services and support.  However, if parents buy a three year contract, the Amber Alert GPS system can cost anywhere from $14.99 to $24.99 a month. 

While there may be a cost for the system, Thornton told ABC4 Utah that the Amber Alert GPS will protect hundreds of Utah kids out and about on Halloween night.

Little Jayden agreed.  With a device hanging from her costume clad frame she said it was the must have accessory for kids.

"So they won't get lost and so their family can know where they are," she said.

For more information on the Amber Alert GPS system click here.  There is a discount option that will save parents 50 percent on the cost of the device today only.  Simply enter promo code HALLOWEEN13. 

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